“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch
I admit – I constantly gripe about how hard it is to be different. In reality, I am a cliché – I make New Year’s resolutions. On the other hand, I try to stay true to being different by keeping my resolution exactly the same year after year – I cheer for the new.
New places, new books, new events, new experiences, new knowledge, new concepts, new skills, new thoughts, new understandings, new beginnings, and most importantly new people. Every New Year’s Eve I resolve to consciously bring freshness into my life. I do that because I recognize that I am a child of the routine. Once I figure out what works for me, I tend to develop habits, patterns, MOs, and stick to them for all eternity. It makes me more efficient and more effective at things that I do day after day.
Thus, I tend to stay in my comfort zone. Admit it – you too find sticking to the same old things so much easier than making the effort and deliberately seek out new paths, new ways of doing things, discovering new places, or learning how to deal with new personalities.
My own personality of INTJ does not help. As a strategist, I do need my mental space to reflect on all the new things and experiences that I inadvertently encounter. This year I decided to set very specific and attainable goals and to give myself very simple and measurable action items, which should prevent me from feeling overwhelmed and “over social”, will not take away from my pondering time, and allow me to stick with my resolution.
One of the objectives of this blog is to create connections and expand my professional network. Thus, I have decided to focus 2016 on improving my networking skills. Since most career moves are rooted in “who knows you”, it only make sense to make it a priority to develop my network. I agree with the notion that you should spend more time nurturing your relationships rather than seeking out new ones. So in the new year I am going to devote most of my time retaining the connections rather than creating new ones. Here are my action steps:
- Meet one new person once a month.
- Reach out to an existing connection once a week.
By December 2016 this SMART strategy should allow me to add 12 new connections to my network and to start a conversation with 52 existing connections.
The ultimate goal of my 2016 plan is to make it natural for me to network – make it a lifestyle rather than an event. Overall, I think my plan is realistic and doable. I just need to stick to the new routine and make it a habit.
What is your New Year’s resolution?